Graeme Smith is both indisputably the greatest captain of South African cricket as well at its youngest. Appointed when just 22 he was more than a captain in the conventional sense. A muscular, imposing opening batsman who fearlessly spoke his mind was a distinguished leader who helped restore integrity and pride to cricket in the Republic of South Africa.
The double centuries he scored in England in just his third and fourth Tests at the helm earned him the sobriquet “Captain Colossus” which he carried through 108 Tests for 53 victories, 28 defeats and 27 draws.
Smith was renowned for his courage. This was dramatically exemplified in Sydney in January 2009 when he batted for 26 minutes with a broken left hand in a brave but ultimately futile attempt to stave off defeat. Single-minded and unrelenting he took his Proteas to the number one ranking in the world and had the distinction of twice winning series in Australia.